How Many Miles Do Brake Pads Last?

by Scott HuntSeptember 17, 2022
How Many Miles Do Brake Pads Last

We often overlook the fact that brakes play a crucial role in ensuring road safety for everyone. It is your first line of defense against road accidents such as crashing into another vehicle or skidding down the highway. 

Cars are inherently dangerous and faulty brakes only make things worse. About 5% of car crashes in the US every year are caused by brake failures—accounting for approximately 300,000 crashes annually. 

Just like any other mechanical part, brakes can fail at any time. The good news is that you can often tell when it’s about to happen. Read on to know how brake pads work for cyclists and how long brake pads can last you.

Signs Of Failing Brakes 

Brake pads are one of the primary components of your vehicle’s braking system. It is placed inside a caliper between the brake shoe and the brake drum. They press down on the brake rotors to slow down your tires. 

We often take our brake pads for granted. However, brake failure is a serious risk and it’s always better to regularly check your brake pads for any signs of wear.  

Squeaking Brakes

The first symptom of worn down brake pads is when they begin to make squeaking or screeching noises. Excessively worn-down brake pads typically produce a squeaking noise whenever you’re braking. You may also experience a grinding noise as you apply pressure on the brake pedal.  

Vibration When Braking

If you feel strong vibrations from your car whenever you apply the brakes, then that’s a clear sign that your brake pads need repair or replacement. Chances are that your brake pads are unevenly worn down caused by your rotors warping. 

Longer Time To Stop

Another clear sign to get your brake pads repaired or replaced is when their performance is below ideal. Slower performance leads to longer stoppages.

Thin Brake Pads

There is no better way to confirm whether your brake pads are worn down than to perform a visual inspection. Brake pads should be at least ¼ inch or 6.44 mm thick. Newer ones are usually ½ inch or 8 to 12 inches thick. 

Anything less than these figures indicate that your brake pads are due for a replacement. Your brake discs, calipers, and rotors will wear down faster if your brake pads aren’t working properly. To avoid higher repair costs, it’s best to get them checked out immediately.

How Long Do Brake Pads Last

Numerous factors can affect the life span of your vehicle’s brake pads. However, on average brake pads last between 25,000 miles and 65,000 miles. However, with the right material and proper care, some brake pads last as long as 100,000 miles. Nevertheless, it is best to replace your brake pads between every 10,000 miles and 25,000 miles.

There are ways to extend the longevity of your brake pads. Below are factors that can affect how long your pads will last.

  • Brake Pad Material
  • Braking Habits
  • Transmission Type (Manual vs. Automatic)
  • Brake Fluid
  • Driving Environment
  • Defective Brake Rotors

Experiencing brake pad issues? Find out how much repair and replacement would cost. Check out this Keep Driving article to learn more.

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